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  • Memorial, Swaby St Nicholas, Lincolnshire. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.
Person Details
Swaby Alford Lincolnshire
Albert was the son of Walter and Elizabeth Barker (née Jackson). His father Walter was born in 1856 (A/M/J Spilsby), the son of Francis and Sophia Barker, and baptised in the parish church of Burgh le Marsh, Lincolnshire, on 4 January 1956. His mother Elizabeth was born in Croft, Lincolnshire, on 10 September 1859, the daughter of Joseph Jackson. Walter (24), a labourer, and Elizabeth (21) were married in Skegness St Matthew on 15 December 1880; both were living in Skegness. They had eight children: Frederick b. Skegness 31 March 1882; Grace b. 13 February 1884; George b. 1885; Kate b. 1887 bap. Winthorpe 18 September 1887; Alice b. 19 April 1890 bap. Withern 15 June 1890; Charles b. 5 March 1883 bap. Withern 2 April 1893; Albert b. December 1895 (reg. 1896 J/F/M Louth) bap. 9 February 1896 and Annie Evelyn bap. Calceby 20 March 1898. The record of Albert's baptism gives his date of birth as 28 December 1896 but the Attestation record has 22 December. In 1901 Walter, a farm foreman, and Elizabeth were living at Grange Farm House, Calceby, Spilsby, Lincolnshire with seven of their eight children: Grace (17), George (15) a waggoner on a farm, Kate (13), Alice (10), Charles (8), Albert (5) and Annie (3). Their eldest child, Frederick, had joined the Royal Navy on 31 March 1900 as a Ship's Corporal 2nd Class on a 12 year engagment and in 1901 was serving in HMS Majestic at Gibraltar. Walter died in September 1902 aged 46 and was buried in Swaby churchyard on 16 September. The second daughter, Kate (21), married Walter Mossenton Stone (23) at Christ Church, Albany Street, St Pancras, London, on 22 February 1908 and they had a daughter, Kate Sylvia the same year (J/F/M Paddington). Kate died in the summer of 1908 (J/A/S Paddington) aged 21. In 1911 the widowed Elizabeth, a charwoman, was living in Swaby, Lincolnshire, with four of her seven surviving children, Grace, Charles, Albert and Annie, and her granddaughter, Kate Sylvia Stone (2). Her third daughter, Alice, was working as a nurse/housemaid in Southampton in 1911. Alice married Bertie Mossinton Stone, the brother of her sister Kate's husband, Walter, in Swaby on 24 December 1911. They later lived in Peckham London. (Details from Bertie Stone's service record - attested 12 November 1914, medically discharged December 1914) Her eldest daughter Grace (27) married Frederick Clarence English (26), a hotel waiter living in Mablethorpe, at Swaby parish church on 2 October 1911. Albert attested in the Army Reserve (Special Reservists) in 1913 and named his mother, Elizabeth and his three brothers as his next of kin: Elizabeth living in Swaby, Lincolnshire, Frederick who was serving in the Royal Navy, George who was in the police force in Luton and Charles who was living in Skegness. Frederick, who had joined the Royal Navy in 1900, extended his engagement on 21 March 1912 and served throughout the war. He was promoted Master at Arms on 30 July 1917 and was discharged shore on 1 April 1922 (pensioned). He had married May Eliza Olding (b. 8 November 1883) in Portsmouth in 1908 and in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled they were living in Lancaster where he was a 'coast preventive man' in the Custom & Excise. Frederick probably died in Southsea, Portsmouth, in 1966. According to Albert's CWGC record, his mother later lived in Nottingham: 'Son of Walter and Elizabeth Barker, of 51, Muskham St., Nottingham.' It is likely that Elizabeth had moved to Nottingham to be near, or with, her daughter Grace English as in 1939 she and Grace, who was divorced, were living on Hampden Street, Nottingham. Elizabeth died in Nottingham in 1942 (J/A/S). Her daughter Grace English died in 1974 (J/F/M Worthing Sussex).
He was working as a horse lad when he attested in 1913 (Army Reserve).
11 Aug 1915
19
275713 - CWGC Website
6447
He enlisted in Chelsea and was a resident of Swaby, Lincolnshire.
Private
9th Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Albert attested in the Army Reserve (Special Reservists) on a 6-year service engagement on 22 September 1913 (3/7499). He was 17 years, 9 months old, a horse lad and probably living in Swaby, Lincolnshire. He undertook recruit training but was discharged on 7 August 1914, medically unfit on mobilization. He was later accepted into the army and served with the 9th Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). He served in France from 1 June 1915 and died of wounds at Houplines on 11 August 1915. He is buried in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France (grave ref. 9.A.33). He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery (extract): 'Armentieres was occupied by the 4th Division on 17 October 1914 and it remained within the Allied lines until its evacuation ahead of the German advance on 10 April 1918, after a prolonged and heavy bombardment with gas shell. It was occupied by the Germans next day, and was not recovered until 3 October 1918. Cite Bonjean Mlitary Cemetery was begun (Plot IX) in October 1914 and during the winter of 1914-15 it was used for civilian burials (later removed), the town cemetery at Le Bizet being too greatly exposed. The cemetery continued to be used by field ambulances and fighting units (particularly the 4th, 6th, 21st, New Zealand, 17th and 57th (West Lancashire) Divisions and the Australian Corps) until April 1918. Plots V, VI, VII and X were then used by the Germans.' (www.cwgc.org)
Albert is commemorated on memorials in two Lincolnshire villages. He was resident in Swaby and is commemorated on the war memorial in the parish church of St Nicholas at Swaby, near Spilsby, LN13 OBQ. Inscription: 'To the glory of God and in grateful memory of (ten names including Albert Barker) who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918. In the cause of justice and freedom. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’ Photograph of memorial courtesy of Charles Anderson. He is also commemorated on the memorial in the church of St Michael at Burwell, Louth, LN11 8PR. The former parish church is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT). Inscription: ‘1914-1919. (four names including ‘Albert Barker, Private. Royal Fusiliers) Remember these your brothers who passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice giving up their lives that others might live in peace.’ Photograph of memorial courtesy of Michael Peck. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: (place of death Houplines) his mother Elizabeth was his legatee.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Memorial, Swaby St Nicholas, Lincolnshire. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.
    Albert Barker - Memorial, Swaby St Nicholas, Lincolnshire. Photograph courtesy of Charles Anderson.
  • Memorial, Burwell St Nicholas, Lincolnshire. Photograph courtesy of Michael Peck.
    Albert Barker - Memorial, Burwell St Nicholas, Lincolnshire. Photograph courtesy of Michael Peck.
  • Buried in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France (www.cwgc.org)
    Albert Barker - Buried in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France (www.cwgc.org)